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Food Production Allergen Containment

Food Production Allergen Containment

Food Production Allergen Containment

(OP)
A food research/pilot plant wants to devote a small room to testing foods containing allergens (mostly peanuts). Right now the entire facility is served with a VAV system from a central unit, and there are no allergens present. This new allergen area will have to be kept negative to the adjacent spaces, and no return air can be pulled from this space.

So I was thinking of still using the supply air to the allergen space from the VAV system, but not returning any air, Instead, a separate exhaust system would be installed sending all air to the outdoors. I need to make sure that the central system has the capacity to bring in the additional OA.

The VAVs will have reheat coils for temperature control. I am debating on whether or not I need something as precise as Phoenix valves in lieu of VAV boxes? Exhaust could be whatever I want, which will no doubt consist of variable speed based on differential between the allergen room and the adjacent spaces.

I am looking into any codes or other standards that might be applicable. Job is in Chicago.

Any input would be appreciated.

RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

Failure of exhaust results in positive pressure and contamination of adjacent spaces.

RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

Usually for containment rooms HVAC needs to be operational 24hrs.Please check if the central AHU will meet this requirement.HVAC alone does not provide containment so consider having an airlock at the entrance of containment room. Please check if the exhaust requires any filtration.

RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

I would be more careful of the exhaust air, as I've heard cases where exhaust air was next to the inlet air for the rest of the system, resulting in cross contamination. One other thing to consider is whether the exhaust air should go through a scrubber.

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RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

I'd go for a separate small A/C unit for the space. Then, loss of either the main A/C or the small room A/C will not drive contamination out of the small space. A simple pressure controlled exhaust fan will then suffice to keep the room negative. If no doors are being fanned (night or weekends) energy used for isolation could drop to very low levels.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

You also need to address how to avoid contamination with people going in and out of the room. Airlock and disposable gowns, shoe and hair covers would be required. Itsmoked recommendation is good.

RE: Food Production Allergen Containment

Doesn't sound like you have nearly enough information yet.

What ISO level or how many air changes are you required? What are you trying to isolate, as if it is allergens only and not things on the ACGIH or OSHA Table, or carcinogenic or agent, risk might go down. Will HEPA's be required and do you have discharge velocities on exhaust for plume to meet? Is the work critical and does it need to be on emergency power?

Are you protecting the product, the personnel or both (is work going to be under a hood, a BSC or isolator)?

I've worked under BMBL, AAALAC and USP 797/800 criteria and not sure if this would match with FDA requirements (if they even need to be followed). Otherwise I would have guessed requiring USP 797/800. If work is under an isolator, then you would only need slight negative pressure (o.01 IWC), no antechamber and 12 ACH. If going full blown clean room you'd probably need ISO 5 (BSC) with ISO 7 work room and ISPO 8 antechamber.

Not much to work with. Would the chemicals involved even require eye wash?

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